Many Happy Returns Of The Day Mother Earth

Planet Earth
Image used for representation only


Many happy returns of the day earth! It’s been 4.543 billion years already! 

From my human perspective, that’s ridiculously long to comprehend. We humans rarely see beyond our day. Or something we’ve come to call as the short term…

So we end up doing stupid things that we realise are stupid in the short now – or the lifetime of a child born now. Alas, only if we are able to think about the short now. But you have seen many short nows. For you, is that short term?

I’m told by my extremely clever friends who have been studying the lives of stars all their lives, that if we compare our 100 years life to your approximate life span, you’re probably about 45 years old.

We humans have been around for just a little over 7 days of your existence.

I’m enormously grateful to you for you working hard to make yourself habitable for life. You’ve made life thrive for over 35 of your 45 years. My geologist friends explain how you shaped yourself to create the most beautiful landscape we may ever set our eyes on. No landscape designers and engineers can match the magnificence and wisdom of your mountains, plains, rivers, deserts, seas and polar caps.

No architect can parallel your ability to create habitats where such a diverse set of homes for such a remarkable diversity of life may thrive. 

For the fresh air you provide, I express am eternally grateful to you. Without all the plant life that you support, the air would not be breathable. Without their absorbing the carbon from the atmosphere, temperatures would be unliveable. Without them releasing oxygen into the atmosphere our life may just not exist.

Without the bio-geo-chemical cycles you support would you be any different from the 100 billion other planets in our Milky Way? 

For the fresh water I can drink I owe you my sincere thanks. You created the rain so rivers may flow and give us water. So the ground may store it to keep itself from warming and to supply life with water and so that rivers may not dry. For the sea that allows the river to meet the clouds. So the seasons may continue to nourish life.

For the magic you’ve woven on to yourself to create the diversity of life that you support, both plants and animals and the billions of microbes, you’ve added unimaginable joy to existence. Something only you have managed to create among a hundred billion exoplanets in the Milky Way!

For the 1.6 trillion times you tirelessly went around yourself to give us our days so we may live our lives and nights that give us the rhythm of life, I am grateful. For every one of your 4.543 billion journeys around the sun, you created seasons that breathe life into spring, summer, autumn and winter! My amazement at your consistency, persistence and devotion.

Possibly, just like the cells in our bodies don’t recognise the tissue, organ or organism they are a part of, we humans don’t recognise ourselves as the cells in your living body. When our cells fail to work, the tissue and eventually the organ may fail and cause death of the organism. When we humans and our cultures fail, we endanger your health, perhaps your survival. When our cells grow without constraints, we call it cancer. Unless balance is restored and the growth of cancerous cells is stopped we die.

We humans have grown our population, our consumption and the trail of waste and destruction exponentially in less than 1 second of your life. I hope we are not the cancer you contracted.

When cancerous cells spread themselves to other tissue and cause growth of other cells in other tissues, we say the cancer has spread – it has metastasised. In just 0.000002 seconds we’ve destroyed 80 percent of the wildlife you had evolved over 35 years. When we spread our growth culture across your body, destroying other life forms, are we the cancer that has metastasised?

But, it’s your birthday today, So I will not talk of your ill health…

It’s our day to celebrate together. It’s our day to hope we will be the life that values and protects you. It’s our day to express gratitude of our relationship.

And it’s my day to express my love for you. It’s my day to pledge my role, small as it may be, to ensure your health for the next 50 years of your life!

Happy Birthday Dear Earth! 


Anupam Saraph

Anupam Saraph

Dr. Anupam Saraph grew up in a Pune that was possibly a tenth of its current expanse and every road was lined by 200 year old trees. He’s committed to the cause of de-addicting the short-termers.

He can be reached @AnupamSaraph
Anupam Saraph

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